Four red flags to look out for in job descriptions

2 min read

Four red flags to look out for in job descriptions

You probably know about some of the typical red flags in job descriptions; things like describing themselves as a family or not having the salary on the job description are recognisable enough to make you run for the hills.

We trawled live job descriptions on Linkedin to pick out red flags that are quite subtle, so much so that you might not have even noticed them.

1. Unnecessary education requirements

We found a fairly standard job description for a recruiter role that on the face of it seems reasonable. However, upon closer inspection the company requires applicants to have a degree in Human Resource Management.

The reason that that’s a red flag is that to be a recruiter you absolutely do not need a degree, and the fact that they’ve listed this should make you think that they don’t actually know what it takes to be a successful recruiter.

If you were looking for a job and came across this role, think twice before applying.

2. Mismatch between experience and seniority

We found a role where the company expected candidates to have 1–3 years of experience; a sensible expectation for an entry-level or even some higher level roles.

The problem is that this role is for an internship. By definition, companies should expect that suitable candidates for an internship have no industry experience so far.

It is important to note that while experience should not be necessary for applicants for an internship, they should be able to demonstrate genuine interest in the field. Self-initiated projects are a great way to do this and act as a fantastic discussion point during your interview.

3. Super long list of responsibilities

We found one role in particular with 18 bullet points of responsibilities.

This is overkill for almost any role. But this is especially a red flag if the compensation for the role does not match up with what the job expects of you.

4. Overemphasising core responsibilities

This is more of an amber flag than a red flag, but as an example, we found a recruiter role where the first requirement for the job reads “Hiring a lot”.

Now, on the surface this may seem like a perfectly reasonable thing to include in a job description for a recruiter. If you’re a recruiter, you know that you’re going to be hiring a lot. It’s a core part of your job.

However, the fact that the company felt the need to spell this out explicitly should tell you that this job is not going to be just busy, but utterly chaotic.

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